Evidence-based leadership development for physicians – Journal of Social Science & Medicine

Interest in leadership development in healthcare is substantial. Yet it remains unclear which interventions are most reliably associated with positive outcomes. We focus on the important area of physician leadership development in a systematic literature review of the latest research from 2007 to 2016. The paper applies a validated instrument used for medical education, MERSQI, to the included studies. Ours is the first review in this research area to create a tiered rating system to assess the best available evidence. We concentrate on findings from papers in the highly-rated categories. First, our review concludes that improvements in individual-level outcomes can be achieved (e.g. knowledge, motivation, skills, and behaviour change).

Second, development programs can substantially improve organizational and benefit to patients outcomes.

Third, some of the most effective interventions include: interactive workshops, videotaped simulations followed by peer and expert feedback, Multisource Feedback (MSF), coaching, action learning, and mentoring. Fourth, the evidence suggests that objective outcome data should be collected at baseline, end of program, and retrospectively. An outcomesbased approach appears to be the most effective design of programs. We also make recommendations for future research and practice.

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